The renal unit at Nus offers remote support to patients with peritoneal dialysis (PD) at the patients nearest primary care unit. The service was established in 2011 as part of the EU project ITTS and is now routine practice. The plan is to develop the concept further to be able to offer services also to the patient’s home. It is mainly patients with long distances to travel that utilize the service and primarily meets with specialist nurses. Appointments where the patient needs to meet with both doctor and nurse remains as face-to-face visits, but on account of the virtual visits with the nurse, the physical visits has been reduced from every sixth to every twelfth week.
In good time before the appointment, the patient leaves a blood sample at the primary care clinic that is later assessed by the PD nurse at the renal unit. Blood pressure and weight is also recorded at this time. At the time of the appointment, the patient utilizes the videoconferencing system at the primary care facility and the visit is then carried out in much the same way as a physical visit.
In addition to the benefits for the patient in terms of timesaving and increased quality of life, this concept is also a significant economic advantage for the county thanks to reduction in subsidised taxi services. Patients with physical disabilities are also given the opportunity to choose peritoneal dialysis when they are not hindered by long journeys to the same degree.
Transplantation nurses for kidney transplant patients have also tested the approach, which is planned to be introduced on a large scale shortly.
This text has been originally released in the following report: Telemedicine Survey in the County Council of Västerbotten -An analysis of the present situation, conditions and areas of improvement.